Two new(ish) poems are up on Milk Sugar

You can read them here. To be honest, those poems are almost old. I wrote them last fall after reading a LOT of Sierra DeMulder and spending an unfortunate amount of time on the freeway. If you don’t live in California, I envy you.

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MY POEMS ARE UP ON PANK

You guys, I’m so excited right now. I want to celebrate and buy you all chocolate cake. This is my first pretty major accomplishment as a poet, and I’m so so honored to have my work published in PANK. Such an awesome, awesome litmag.

If you want to read my poems, click here . There are three of them and they even come with voice recordings! You get to hear what I sound like (a thirteen year-old girl)!!

That’s it. Check them out. I write about kissing and criminals, my mom, and Velveeta. Yummy stuff.

I love this one.

Before I write, I warm-up by reading and jotting down lines I love, or by imitating them (Ilya Kaminsky style!), but this whole poem struck me.

“Dysecdysis”
by: Stevie Edwards

The raw morning of
troubled molting–
we say our eyes are cloudy
and ready, say good
riddance. We rough,
we slough and
slough our bodies,
lesions of tender
unskinned. The snake
doctor says this
incomplete shedding
is a symptom of
deeper illness. I can smell
my love making
coffee because this is
what love does
in the morning. We are
nothing, incomplete,
I wish into the scruff
of his beard, rub
his bald head for
luck or love. He
silently slices open
a melon, not quite
ripe but still
food-I take it
in my mouth.  He
says this taking
without joy marks
the beast in me.
I rear my raw
neck back, ready
to strike like
the beast I am.

Sneak Peek: Alex Dimitrov’s BEGGING FOR IT via The Rumpus

In “Sensualism,” Dimitrov writes, “A mosquito presses into my skin / with such cruelty I mistake it for love.” The poem explores the craving for wanting something intricately whole; this need intensifies and the speaker metaphorically allows the mosquito to use his body for fodder. He compares life to a film in pre-production. The poem “Bloodletting” explores the realness of violence and feeling; Dimitrov passionately argues that our actions possess viewership and consequences, and that we must allow ourselves to bleed, to let live: “If you can’t show red, why bother filming? / The scene where the boys undress / and color the river with sex / is useless, like bloodletting”

The full review will be up May 29th!

Psst.

If you haven’t read my book review on Sierra DeMulder’s newest collection of poems, New Shoes on a Dead Horse, then do yourself a favor by reading it here. Seriously. That girl is one talented poet.

Two years ago, one of my best friends gave this to me:

Just thought I’d share. Awesome, no?

From My Homework To Your Home

“Quoof”

by Paul Muldoon

How often have I carried our family word
for the hot water bottle
to a strange bed,
as my father would juggle a red-hot half-brick
in an old sock
to his childhood settle.
I have taken it to so many lovely heads
or laid it between us like a sword.

A hotel room in New York City
with a girl who spoke hardly any English,
my hand on her breast
like the smoldering one-off spoor of the yeti
or some other shy beast
that has yet to enter the language

 

Volume 1 of The California Journal For Women Writers

It’s here! For more information about the journal, click here.

 

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, click here 

I’m super happy and proud to be a part of this collection of prose, poetry, and flash fiction. My poems: “Destroyer,” “To Feel Whole Again,” “The Perks of Anti-Regret,” and “Swim To” will be featured in this volume. To quote Jennifer Carter:

Viscera combines the creative work of women from all backgrounds and paths in life. These are the stories of our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. They have been woven together to create a collective voice full of hope and vitality.

Very awesome. I’m buying a copy today.

Poetry Review: Sierra DeMulder’s “New Shoes on a Dead Horse”

So, I recently read Sierra DeMulder’s new book, New Shoes on a Dead Horse and just totally fell in love. I loved The Bones Below, but Sierra really matured and brought her readers some epic new material.  As you can tell, I look up to strong female poets like her and like Mindy Nettifee because I love their voices. I love what they have to say and how they say it. 

I went ahead and wrote a review that I’ll be submitting to The Rumpus. Check it out, for now:

(photo via Sierra DeMulder’s tumblr/by Cole Sarar and if you want to see more Sierra pics by Starfive, click here )

Winning just about every national poetry slam competition there is, Sierra DeMulder’s words and poetic swagger have won untouchable real estate in my bookshelf. DeMulder’s newest book, New Shoes on a Dead Horse re-defines confessional poetry; in fact, it pushes it aside and claims there is more to each and every picture. New Shoes is epic; it’s honest, raw, innovative, and it is filled to the brim with heartbreak and a dark freedom. A much more personal and mature achievement since The Bones Below, New Shoes on a Dead Horse focuses on human nature and its defects, the evidence of living, and the pangs of being alive. Every single poem reaches a loud climax; there is ringing of truth in every syllable.

DeMulder’s poems hysterically reflect different relationships (personal and general), our worst fears, and what hurts.  In poems such as “The Perm” and “The New Kitchen,” DeMulder highlights the before and after of her parent’s divorce. In “The Perm,” she writes: “I am making my mother drive home / from the salon over and over and over,” to stress the old memory of the first time her mother defied her stubborn father with a drastic change in hair style. Later in the book, DeMulder describes her mother’s new kitchen, the one she uses post-divorce: “The dishes match- / something I can tell comforts my mother.” Both poems quietly offer sadness observed and lived, the kind that stains families and leaves them broken. Other tendencies, such as jealousy and self-destruction are painted fearlessly; DeMulder masters the provocative and truthful heartbreak. “On Watching Someone You Love Love Someone Else,” written in second person, deals with envy and torment by exposure to an ex-lover who has found someone else: “Does he fall for her features like rearranged furniture? When / he kisses her, does she taste like new paint?” The poem reads like a story we have all lived. In the end, although (you) have lost, although (your) pain is real and radiating, (you) must be reduced to a happy, stable figure. Happiness itself is investigated in poems such as “Fentanyl,” and “The Genius Complains about his Boss,” where depression, suicide, and the lack of confidence in self-existence are loudly discussed. Sierra DeMulder’s second collection of poetry has many arms and legs; although she addresses a gorgeously accumulated list of problems within ourselves and society, she does so masterfully, and with a young, fearless guerrilla girl voice.

The manner in which DeMulder puts her poems together creates a symbiotic relationship between content and form. Married to free verse, she is no formalist, yet all of her poems are confined by a sense of structure and tightness. Most of her poems are structured by couplets, tercets, or quatrains. However, the poet’s words and lines have a way of tidiness to them that still allow free movement; Sierra does not abuse the various structures and carefully constructs each line, each stanza, accordingly. In “Love, Forgive Me,” DeMulder structures her stanzas into tercets, creating a neat poem that is juxtaposed with its heavy content: the deconstruction of soul-mates. Poems such as “On Watching Someone You Love Love Someone Else” and “The Genius Goes to the Art Museum” are written in prose format; a heavily disputed form of poetry that begs the question of boundaries. In this case, the space of the page works for the poems. DeMulder has a knack for one-liners; this can be attributed to the way she reads her poems on stage. She has a powerful stage presence, and it naturally lends itself to the page, where it creates dynamic flow. “This is the dumb cousin of love making” is a line from “The Genius Considers the Pros and Cons of Pornography,” a witty line that makes Sierra the poet that she is. What could have been divided into couplets, the poem gorgeously spills and moves with precision.

Sierra DeMulder’s second book of poetry is a powerful accomplishment, a must-read for anyone who loves writing that is real and in-your-face good. New Shoes on a Dead Horse spray paints anything and everything we have been anxious about in a succinct turbulence. Sierra moves you, shakes you, and leaves you feeling so much. Good poetry is carefully created to do just that.